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Viu CEO Janice Lee & PubMatic’s Jason Barnes on the future of OTT and programmatic

The Drum and PubMatic have today launched the first episode in a special three-part podcast that aims to delve into the future of one of digital advertising’s most important topics, PubCast: the future of programmatic.

Episode one takes on the much-talked-about growth channel of over-the-top (OTT) streaming, inviting leading streaming platform Viu’s CEO Janice Lee on as the special guest.

 

In each episode, PubMatic chief revenue officer, APAC, Jason Barnes will give a need-to-know account of the topic. For OTT, Barnes says the audience numbers for the channel are growing, not least because people are turning more to streaming as they spend time at home during the current pandemic. 

In terms of ad spend, he says, “Prior to the pandemic, OTT spend was certainly increasing rapidly.”

However, he adds that OTT is still defining its value proposition to buyers, adding, “it’s just part of the transition period that we are going through.” He says that while TV buyers are transitioning slower because they are used to buying more around upfronts, digital buyers are more used to the process, giving a strong use case for using programmatic as a way to deliver ads to the audience.

Leading Asian OTT platform Viu has a mixed model in terms of monetisation and is seeing strong growth from both sides, despite the expected softening of spend during the pandemic. 

On the topic of programmatic, Janice Lee, CEO of Viu, says that as OTT platforms see large increases in viewership, programmatic can be an essential tool for managing large advertising inventories. 

“In 2019, our video views grew by about 60-70%, so with that huge volume of inventory, we do need to partner with programmatic platforms to monetise that effectively. But apart from that we also want to grow our relationship with our advertisers to know more about their brand and what they want to achieve,” she explains.

Both agree that OTT will emerge as a resilient and attractive channel for advertisers this year, particularly if the platforms invest in the customer-facing experience and content. Meanwhile, the platforms and ad tech partners need to focus on strengthening the ease of buying and measuring advertising for streaming to realise its full potential. 

To hear the full episode and to subscribe to the entire series, find PubCast: the future of programmatic on Apple or on Google Podcasts.

 

Featured by The Drum

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